K-9 officer approved for B-UHS

BUCKHANNON — Upshur County Board of Education members voted to sign an agreement with the Upshur County Commission and Sheriff’s Department to allow Buckhannon-Upshur High School to welcome a canine officer.

Currently Cpl. Rocky Hebb, of the Sheriff’s Department, serves as a Prevention Resource Officer at B-UHS, and will soon be assigned a partner — a male Labrador retriever/German short-haired pointer.

Hebb and the canine will attend training at Shallow Creek Kennels Inc, which will begin no later than Dec. 18 and will conclude in the first half of January.

According to the agreement, certain duties and responsibilities must be followed by Hebb, the board, the commission and the sheriff’s department.

The agreement states Hebb will be responsible for the canine while on the BOE property at all times and will not leave the canine unattended. All inspections — lockers, desks, etc. — involving the canine will be conducted in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the board.

Sheriff David Coffman has agreed to ensure that the exercise of the law enforcement powers by Hebb and the canine are in compliance with the authority granted by the law, the agreement states.

The board and the commission will split the cost of training provided by Shallow Creek Kennels evenly, with an estimated total cost of $9,250. The commission has already paid the $1,000 deposit, according to the agreement.

To purchase and install a kennel in Hebb’s county vehicle, an additional $2,250 will be utilized, and will be split evenly between the board and the commission. Veterinarian examinations, food and other expenses will also be divided evenly between the two government bodies.

In the agreement, it states seven hours of overtime per pay period is required for animal handling at an annual cost of $6,021.15, which is in recognition of additional responsibilities off the job tasks, including transportation, feeding, grooming, care and training the canine. These expenses will also paid 50/50 between the board and commission.

According to the agreement, the canine is fully trained in narcotics detection, and will assist in the prevention of juvenile delinquency and to detect and respond to conditions which gives rise to delinquency.

Members of the BOE, commission and the sheriff realize the addition of a canine is a great benefit to school administration, students and the community as a whole, reads the agreement.

In other news:

• BOE member Carl Martin announced his resignation from the board, and said he plans on running for the 45th District W.Va. House of Delegates seat in the upcoming election.

• Board members were introduced to the first reading of a proposed policy concerning curricular and extracurricular bus trips.

• Board members discussed the second reading of the proposed revised policy regarding the integrated pest management plan.

• Carl Martin announced his resignation from the board, and said he plans on running for the 45th district House of Delegates for the upcoming election.